The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzeo

The story of the name behind one of the most famous bottles of bubbly, Veuve Clicquot.

Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin Clicquot, whose curved signature graces the brand’s yellow labels, is responsible for the champagne’s legacy today. After the death of her husband Francois Clicquot, Barbe-Nicole managed to overcome the endless obstacles posed by droughts, family misfortune and, of course, the Napoleonic wars responsible for disrupting overseas trade. 
Barbe-Nicole truly serves as an example for the modern woman today—strong, independent and progressive. 

Her unique financial and social position as an entrepreneurial woman in the 17th century is a captivating storyline, but since there aren’t many written records of her, it’s hard to draw concrete conclusions about her history. As a result, Mazzeo is forced to infer Barbe-Nicole’s thought process.

Mazzeo does add depth to the book by interjecting facts about champagne’s origins and production, as well as placing Veuve Clicquot in context to the Champagne region’s business climate with competitors such as Moet.

For a short novel, it took way too long to finish this book—an abundance of filler sentences and repetitive redundancies made it clumsy to read—but The Widow Clicquot fulfills its need to serve as an account of a powerful female narrative.

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A Francophile based in coastal New England

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